The Chancel Repairs Bill – the legislation to end chancel repair liability (CRL) – has now had its first reading as a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords.
CRL is based on ancient law that makes the owners of properties to which it is attached responsible for the repair of some church premises, usually in the immediate vicinity. It is claimed to affect thousands of properties and hit the news a few years ago when a couple were forced to sell their home after losing a legal battle against being made to pay the cost of repairs to their local church. The existence of CRL attached to a property can make it unsalable.
Since October 2013, it has been necessary to register CRL: against properties that are registered land. It is claimed that more than 12,000 registration notices have been sent.